Yesterday, the government of India had revamped the security administration of the country by constituting a Strategic Policy Group (SPG). This group is headed by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and the SPG will assist the National Security Council of India and will undertake a long-term strategic defence review, the notification constituting the group said.
The member of the group includes the cabinet secretary, chiefs all three armed forces, RBI governor, secretaries of several departments including Home, Foreign, Finance and Defence etc.
#BREAKING: Govt has formed a Strategy Planning Group (SPG) headed by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to assist the National Security Council of India to undertake long-term strategic defence review. pic.twitter.com/NO6GO3dtCh
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) October 8, 2018
This move was welcomed by most people, but journalist Shekhar Gupta couldn’t resist himself from bringing a casteist and classist angle to this news also. He commented that now IAS and IFS officers and chiefs of armed forces will have to report to an IPS officer. He also said that with this history has been made and rules are being rewritten.
History made in New Delhi, rules rewritten. For the first time, we have India’s topmost IAS, IFS officers & Chiefs of 3 armed forces reporting to an IPS officer. Cabinet Secy, from being ‘clerk of the cabinet,’ is now ‘clerk’ of this Strategic Planning Group under Doval
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) October 10, 2018
By this tweet, Shekhar Gupta implies that the IPS officers belong to an inferior class compared to IAS and IFS officers, and if IAS, IFS officers have to report to an IPS officer, that means rules are being broken. Gupta always shows his casteist mentality and this was one such incident.
After his tweet, many people had countered to him saying that Ajit Doval is heading the group not as an IPS officer, but as National Security Advisor (NSA) of the country, which is a minister of state (MoS) level position. Shekhar Gupta forgets that present position of a person matters, not past position. If his logic is taken, in Delhi top IAS officers are reporting to an IRS officer. But that does not matter, just like senior bureaucrat report to a chief minister or any minister because of the current position and not past position, same holds true for the NSA.
Another sly attempt to incite discord by the “impartial” & “liberal” media. Doval is a RETIRED IPS officer, hence service hierarchies are redundant. Many retd IPS officers have become ambassadors, governors etc & were therefore “above” IAS/IFS officials on their staff. #AjitDoval https://t.co/FZCXIWxAg9
— Reshmi Dasgupta (@ReshmiDG) October 10, 2018
This attempt by Shekhar Gupta to seed difference among various services caught the attention of IPS association and they have condemned the veteran journalist with very strong words. In a tweet posted responding to Gupta’s tweet, they inform that Ajit Doval is retired IPS officer and he has become NSA due to his proven track record. They say that no rules are broken by NSA heading the group, and slammed Gupta for perpetuating caste hierarchies in the services, saying he has a mischievous mindset.
Mr Ajit Doval, IPS retd, is #NSA because of his proven track record on national security. #NSA is an MoS rank post. No rules are broken except those imagined by your outdated and mischievous mindset which is perpetuating caste hierarchies in services. Pity @ShekharGupta. https://t.co/Kbr8H6kEo9
— IPS Association (@IPS_Association) October 10, 2018
Shekhar Gupta is yet to respond to this strong rebuttal by IPS association.